Coronavirus: Cruise ship held off south of France as two passengers tested for virus

A cruise ship in the south of France is the latest vessel to fall victim to coronavirus. Cruise ship the AIDAsol is being held off the coast amid fears of the deadly virus onboard. Two passengers who were travelling with German cruise line AIDA Cruises have been taken off for testing.


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The pair have been taken to Marseille for the coronavirus tests to be carried off.

The remaining passengers on the AIDAsol have been left stranded on the ship.

Local public service broadcaster France Bleu reported the two have been taken off after falling ill.

Emergency services boarded the ship and then took the two by speedboat to Timone Hospital.

The Regional Health Agency has said tests had been carried out. Results are expected by 3pm this afternoon, according to reports.

The ship had been due to dock at Marseilles around 6.30am local time.

It is currently being held off the coast of L’Estaque, just west of Marseille, according to local reports.

According to the ship’s itinerary, the seven-day cruise ‘Pearls of the Mediterranean’ has already visited Majorca and Barcelona.

It’s due to stop in France before carrying on to Livorno and Rome before returning to Majorca.

The AIDAsol cruise ship is able to carry more than 2,100 passengers.

An AIDA Cruises spokesman told “The call of AIDAsol at the port of Marseille is delayed today, March 10, 2020, because the local authorities are investigating a case.

“For AIDA Cruises, the safety, health and well-being of our guests and crew have top priority at all times.


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“We work closely with the responsible authorities and provide information immediately.”

France has reported 1,412 cases of coronavirus so far.

A total of 30 people have died from it in France.

The US has warned its citizens to avoid all cruises altogether as a growing number of cruise ships are being turned into quarantines.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on its website that the “CDC recommends travellers, particularly those with underlying health issues, defer all cruise ship travel worldwide.”

The CDC added: “Recent reports of COVID-19 on cruise ships highlight the risk of infection to cruise ship passengers and crew.

“Like many other viruses, COVID-19 appears to spread more easily between people in close quarters aboard ships.”

Following the announcement, a Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) spokesperson told “We are staying focused on development of an aggressive, responsive plan as agreed to during the meeting with Vice President Pence that goes beyond the already significantly enhanced protocols in place, which we believe are a model for others.”

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